Tag Archives: Frank Lampard

End of 2014/15 Premier League Season Thoughts

26 May

The End of the Premier League season is here, meaning the only games left until August are the Champions League Final in Berlin, the FA Cup Final at Wembley, some Euro qualifiers and friendlies, and of course, the summer international and exhibition tournaments.

My overall thoughts on the season: Congratulations to Chelsea. They were the best team in the league all season, and their consistency and ability to go undefeated against top teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal reflects their resilience in contrast to their performances last season.

2 clubs that exceeded expectations: 

Crystal Palace: The Eagles from South London hired Alan Pardew on January 1st, at which time Crystal Palace was in the relegation zone 21 matches in. 5 months and 17 matches later, Crystal Palace finished in 10th place, their most successful season in their 109 year history. Yannick Bolasie, the young Congolese winger, emerged as one of top talents in English football.

Southampton: They lose Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren and their 24 goals combined they scored last season to Liverpool . They lose manager Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham . Many believed this club would fall apart, and finish in or around the relegation zone.

2 Clubs that fell short of expectations:

Liverpool: It was clear Liverpool wasn’t going to be able to match last years success given the departure of player of the year Luis Suarez to FC Barcelona. It was thought however, with the additions of the Southampton crew listed above, Mario Balotelli, and the continued development of Raheem Sterling, that Liverpool would manage a top 4 finish and at least do better than they did in the Champions League. Brendan Rodgers is on the hot seat, as longtime Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard takes his remaining talents to sunny Los Angeles.

Newcastle: To me, Newcastle should be what Swansea was this year, and the past couple of years. A legitimate top 10 club, playing exciting football while conquering on occasion some of the league’s best (Arsenal, Manchester United, etc). Newcastle is far from that, and staved off relegation on the very last day of the season. The Magpies have a long summer ahead of them, starting with finding a new manager.

Memories from this season: In no particular order: Chelsea winning the league handily, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Didier Drogba Premier League exits, Charlie Adam’s Goal, Leicester’s run down the stretch to avoid relegation, Crystal Palace’s improvement after hiring Pardew, lack of success in the Champions League for English teams, Newcastle’s collapse, Diego Costa’s immediate impact…

What I look forward to next season: Changes in personnel of all of the teams, the success/struggle of the newly promoted teams, will Chelsea repeat?, changes at Anfield, the continued rise of Manchester United,

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English Premier League, Week 8 Game of the Week

17 Oct

Recap of Two Weeks Ago: To all of my readers, I am done considering Newcastle one of the top teams in England. I predicted a close game btw the Magpies and the Devils of Manchester United, but the game ended up being a blowout. The game ended in a 3-0 victory for Man U, with goals scored by Evans 8′, Evra ’15, and Cleverly ’71. In 7 EPL games played, Newcastle has just 2 wins, 3 draws, and 2 losses, with a -3 goal differential. Newcastle is mediocre this season so far, and I have no problem admitting it.

This Week:

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea FC

Saturday October 20th, 6:45AM (CST), ESPN2, White Hart Lane

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because this is a London Derby featuring two of the top five placed teams in the English Premier League. Chelsea sits in 1st place, while Tottenham sits in 5th place with Manchester United, Manchester City and Everton in between them. Both of these clubs look very different than the last time time they played each other last season, as both were incredibly active in the transfer market. An early turning point in the season occurred September 29th, where Tottenham edged Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford. American transfer Clint Dempsey scored the winning goal for the Spurs, making it their first away win at Man U since 1989. Chelsea has been on a roll as well, with their worst result (a 0-0 tie to last place QPR) coming over a month ago. Both clubs boast an array of talent unlike most teams in the league. While Tottenham is still tinkering their 2 deep lineup and trying to figure out which starting 11 works best together, Chelsea’s is a bit more established with their starters at the moment.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Current Hotspur manager Andre’ Villas-Boas will be facing his old team, the same team that fired him before last season was complete. In his 40 games managed at Chelsea, Villas-Boas compiled a 19 win, 11 draw, and 10 loss season for a win percentage of 47.5. As the draws and losses mounted, Villas-Boas was shown the door and Roberto di Matteo was given the Chelsea managerial job on what was then an interim basis. Di Matteo has done a masterful job with the Blues since he took over, leading Chelsea to an improbable Champions League title while beating reigning champs FC Barcelona along the way. One of the reasons Villas-Boas was fired was because during a  Champions League game against Napoli last year, he decided to bench Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, and Ashley Cole- much to the dismay of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. Even though this Tottenham vs Chelsea game is at White Hart Lane, how will Villas-Boas be received by his old club? Is there still animosity? At this point, does it even matter, considering the current place of both of these clubs relative to the rest of the league?

Soccahaus Prediction: 2-2 Draw.

Other Games this Week worth Watching: West Brom vs Manchester City, Liverpool vs Reading, Manchester United vs Stoke City, Norwich vs Arsenal, QPR vs Everton, Tyne War Derby: Newcastle United vs Sunderland